For those of you new to PDCA, it stands for:

Plan

Do

Check

Act

It is a simple acronym that can help you manage most business improvement situations. It is also a cornerstone of the ISO management series.

The reason that we took this acronym to be part of this website’s name is to do with the effect it has had on our professional lives. Each one of us involved with PDCA Complete have experienced the gains made by taking a closed loop feedback system seriously.

I’ll share more about these experiences in later posts.

For the time being, let me share with you an observation we have made about businesses that claim to use the PDCA approach. Some get great results and some don’t.

The businesses that get poor results:

  • Don’t think too hard about their Plan.
  • Get into Act mode straightaway.
  • Get frustrated when results aren’t immediate and don’t Check their results on a regular basis.
  • Don’t make a decision to Act differently going forward.

Many businesses that follow this route often don’t complete their business improvement projects… they just fizzle out.

Contrast this with a business that gets great results:

  • They quickly generate an effective Plan.
  • They mobilise their team and Act swiftly.
  • The Check their results and establish what’s working and what isn’t.
  • They Act differently, depending on what their results tell them.

It really isn’t rocket science!

If you resonate with the first list of bullet points (what poor companies do) and feel that you just don’t have time to stop to do the plan and check elements, then I challenge you to look again. Many businesses waste so much time with re-doing tasks and completing projects inefficiently. I can attest from personal and professional experience that those that follow the second list of bullet points get results faster (and more consistently) than the group that say they don’t have time.

Enjoy (re)embracing PDCA!


Giles Johnston
Giles Johnston

Giles Johnston is a Chartered Engineer that spends his working life helping organisations to become more organised, more efficient and get back in control.

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